20 February 2007

Who Builds New Dormer Windows Anymore?

Saw this sight on the lower Bowery the other day: an red-brick building, probably 150 years old, with NEW DORMER WINDOWS. What the hell? I mean, I love dormer windows. I think they make the world more beautiful and certainly more architecturally interesting. They're also kinda cool and spooky. But, honestly, who build new dormers in New York City anymore? It's too much fuss and detail for most developers. But lookee!: fresh wood, fresh window panes, the whole nine yards. Anybody know the deal here? Were they forced to do it by some civic organization? Or are the owners just preservation-minded?

While we're speaking of windows, I passed by the former home of the Tennessee Mountain restaurant in Soho recently and stopped to admire the old building's classy set of frames. Real, old-style wooden panes and all. One of the little-mentioned areas of architectural desecration in recent decades concerns the sad state of windows. New buidlings and restorations of old ones are outfitted the modern metal-framed windows equipped with two large panes of glass. The most boring, functional windows possible. The ornamentation and visual delight of wooden frames and divided panes is fast disappearing. One's hard-pressed to find even a brownstone with its original windows.

Anyway, Tennessee Mountain has some lovely glass, on the upper floors as well as a fine bay window below that you might have seen in Dickens' London. Give it a look.

1 comment:

maxwell said...

i guess you've never been to los angeles, where (following a stucco-ing of the entire building) unique window mouldings are filled in to a uniform shape and size, so you end up with gigantic oval recesses holding small, square pieces of glass.